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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Benghazi 22, Clinton 21, Us 11, Israel 11, Libya 10, United States 7, North Africa 7, U.s. 6, Algeria 5, John Mccain 4, David Sanger 4, Mali 4, Benjamin Netanyahu 4, Geico 4, Nick Burns 3, Susan Eisenhower 3, Kelly O'donnell 3, Aflac 3, Chris Cillizza 3, Andrea Mitchell 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    January 23, 2013
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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guys out on a walk one night deciding they'd go kill some americans. what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> that did not satisfy the administration's leading critic, john mccain. >> i categorically reject your answer to senator johnson about, well, we didn't ask these survivors, who were flown to ramstein the next day, that is a spontaneous demonstration. the american people deserve to know answers. diffusing the debt crisis, the house moving right now to raise the debt limit, but temporarily, and there's a catch. there's always a catch. >> this bill before us is real simple. it says, congress, if you don't do a budget, you don't get paid. >> this linkage is a gimmick, it's a joke, it's not right.
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it's designed to put people on the spot. playing offense. the nra fights back against the president. >> he's more than willing to demonize his opponents, silence his critics, and slur the nra. >> our special guest, susan o z eisenhower taking on the web ad about the obama daughters. and surprise, even bo obama gets into the act as the first family greets unsuspecting tourists at the white house. with, in fact, a fist bump from the commander in chief. and good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. a busy day here, secretary clinton final facing tough questions from senate republicans about benghazi. >> i'm glad that you're accepting responsibility. i think that ultimately with your leaving you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11, and i really
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mean that. had i been president at the time and i found that you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you from your post. >> well, joining me now for our daily fix, chris cillizza, msnbc contributor and nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell, and david sanger. welcome, all. chris, we've seen these kinds of dramas before. this one was pretty tough. of course, the house side yet to come. how is hillary clinton, do you think, doing in terms of holding her own with a pretty tough brief? >> i think she's done quite well, and this is not an easy, as you point out, this is not an easy thing to do, andrea. i think it's fascinating. one democrat asks a question, then one republican. the democrat says, secretary clinton, thank you so much for your service, you've done a great job, there are no questions, then you go over to a
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rand paul, for example. that was the -- if you are interested in politics, that's the classic backhanded compliment. thank you so much for taking responsibility for your failures, and, by the way, if i was president, i would have fired you. but i wanted to thank you for that. it's kind of a one on, one off for her, but, look, it's not an easy topic, as you point out, andrea. she's kind of stuck to the story at this point. she's taken the heed, and i would say with ron johnson in particular, the senator from wisconsin, you saw that she was, you know, not going to sort of let positions of the administration get characterized in the way that she didn't believe was fair. >> and, kelly o'donnell, the house side is going to be likely tougher. you've got the house republicans in charge there. she won't have as many people, you know, watching her back. but john mccain, john mccain asked her about that cable that was sent by chris stevens, the ambassador who died on 9/11, the day of the attack.
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hillary clinton answered by talking about what the house has held back and the holds on security funds for their budget, but never really responded why she had not seen that cable, why all of these requests had not reached her desk. >> it was a deft sidestep and probably with the mccain/clinton matchup, it was the most even handed of the exchanges we saw today. they have a long history. they are good personal friends. there's a lot of respect between them. there is a lot of warmth between them, but on this issue, mccain got out of the way all of his thanks and salutations to the secretary, then said he strongly disagrees. she came prepared to put some of the burden back on congress, so she was armed with a lot of facts about things congress has done or not done that might contribute to the overall security picture for these missions in dangerous places. what i was also struck by is, i can't remember another time during a hearing when a senator referred to himself, if i were president. you do hear it on the campaign
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trail. that is really going beyond what we would normally hear, and that was probably the most notable matchup. ron johnson of wisconsin sort of got it started as far as republicans pressing her on the talking points issue. i thought it was also notable that she said she did not select susan rice to be the public spokesperson. she had nothing to do with the talking points and was very clear to point out that on the 12th of september, relatively hours after this attack, she had, in fact, described it as a terrorist attack and armed militant attack. definitely giving herself some distance from what was a real political football. >> david sanger, you've watched these kinds of confrontations before, these political debates, over foreign policy. there's a bigger issue here, which is what do we do about libya, what do we do about security, and what's happened since libya with some of those same elements moving into mali and then algeria. this is not going to be an easy issue to resolve in a second term for president obama.
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>> it certainly isn't, andrea. i think what was most notable about the testimony was that while the secretary came quite well prepared to talk about the question of benghazi and, of course, as you noted before, whether congress had underfunded the overall embassy security issue, which doesn't tell you very much about whether things would have gone on differently in benghazi. she didn't have very much to say about a strategy for combatting terrorism in north africa or for stepping up aid development, all of the other issues she used to talk about so regularly as a way of trying to stop terrorism from taking root in countries like this. and i think the interesting thing will be to see whether senator kerry, when he goes to testify tomorrow in his confirmation hearing, whether or not he comes to it with more of a sort of big picture strategy of what he would do within the
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region. now, it's possible that one reason the secretary didn't have that, is, of course, she's been out sick for a good number of weeks and they have been cons e consumed by the individual incident in benghazi. >> of course, the overriding question that the republican critics have been focusing on is susan rice, the talking points, this is another one of the exchanges with senator johnson and hillary clinton. >> do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn't have ascertained immediately there was no protest? that was a piece of information that koufcould have been easily easily obtained within hours, if not days. >> senator, when you're in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on -- number one. >> i realize that's a good excuse. >> no, it's the fact. >> kelly, these freshmen senators, we noted ted cruz last
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week on "meet the press," they are not shy. >> no, they are not. it takes a lot of sense of self to run for the united states senate, and they certainly displayed that. one of the underlying issues here is these senators who are talking about the details of what happened with susan rice make the argument that this was a case where the american public was told one scenario, that not only was slight of what happened but in contrast to officials say was a terrorist attack. while they are kind of picking on these issues that happened weeks, now a couple of months ago, they are telling me when we talked about that, they are interested in trying to shine a light on the fact that it shouldn't be a case if information is withheld, that's one thing. but if information is sending the public in a different direction, that is worthy of more scrutiny. that's why there's been so much focus on this. >> david sanger, tom friedman, one of your colleagues at "the new york time" wrote today that we're not looking at the big
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picture in foreign policy. we have so circumscribed our secretary of state, we evaluate them by how many million-mile markers or how many countries they visited, but not sort of the big breakthroughs because of some of the problems we have with china, with russia. this world is a very complicated place that john kerry is likely going to inherit. >> is indeed, and i think one of the big questions that we have at the end of secretary clinton's time is, is this an administration that wants to empower the secretary of state to do those kinds of things? what's interesting is that while the secretary had territory that was clearly her own, a part of china policy, a lot of pakistan policy, a lot of counterterrorism policy, was run directly out of the white house and out of the national security council. in this case, in the case of benghazi, because it got to a question of embassy security, it fell more directly on the state
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department. but, you know, you heard the echoes of some of those broader questions come up today when the secretary was asked, for example, well, why isn't the military -- why wasn't the military there to protect the benghazi consulate, and the answer is, it's not been a major mission of the military in the past to protect embassies. they mostly protect the classified documents. >> this wasn't an embassy, it was an intelligence listening post, that's why they didn't want a military presence, they didn't want to draw attention to it. chris cillizza, the foreign policy, in many regards, has been run out of the white house, and perhaps even more so because mcdonagh, the deputy of national security director is going to be the next chief of staff. >> right. no reason to think that will change. andrea, look, we don't focus enough on foreign policy, but the challenges, we focus on the
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domestic challenges for barack obama, and as we talked about, his inaugural speech was very domestically focused. look, we just had elections in israel, john kerry not in the same place benjamin netanyahu is regarding a two-state solution, at least right now. there are huge challenges, iran, there are huge challenges in the foreign policy front that don't get talked about as much, but are clearly things that not only will be difficult for the president and his team to navigate, but will also have a significant say in how this president is viewed by history. >> and, by the way, we just got word that the white house is going to proceed with a nomination of general allen to be the nato supreme allied commander now that he's been cleared by the pentagon investigation going back to the petraeus case. thanks to all of you, david sanger and kelly o'donnell, of course, and chris cillizza, see
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you later. thanks very much. clinton today put a lot of blame on congress for withholding aid. >> we have to get our act together between the administration and congress. if this is a priority and if we are serious about trying it help this government stand up security and deal with what is a very dangerous environment, from east to west, then we have to work together. i also hope we're looking forward, because right now, libya is still dangerous, it is still in a very unstable status, and whatever we can do for them, we at least ought to agree we need to do and get out there and start delivering. >> one of the members of the senate foreign relations committee, who is asking questions, is the new hampshire senator jean chacin, former governor, democratic member of the committee, who was in the hearing room. you're joining us right now from the russell building. senator shaheen?
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and as we wait for senator shaheen to get all hooked up there and get the audio straightened out, we've been talking about hillary clinton's testimony today in the senate. this afternoon she's going to be testifying in the house, the house foreign relations committee, which has been just as tough, if not more so than the senators have been, on the record of why susan rice was the person going out on the sunday talk shows, why the cia talking points focused less on terrorism and more on protests and what had happened in cairo. senator shaheen, thanks so much for rushing over. i know this is a very busy day, no time in between appointments, but the hearing today, as we've been discussing, focused a lot on the talking points, the immediate aftermath, not on the bigger strokes. what about hillary clinton's responses, though, on security? there were plenty of warnings, we knew what happened with the british ambassador.
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this was an accident waiting to happen, it should not have been a surprise. >> well, and i think the accountability review board headed by ambassador pickering and admiral mullen, in their report, pointed that out, that there were serious mistakes that were made. i think secretary clinton has taken responsibility for that. she has begun to implement those recommendations from the report and made moves to try and ensure first that our other personnel and other people working in high-risk areas are protected. and, second, that we address the conditions that led to benghazi. >> senator, there were plenty of warnings, though, including the secretary was asked about a cable that came on the very day of that horrible attack, on 9/11, a cable from ambassador stevens to the secretary. i heard john mccain ask that question, secretary clinton didn't get a chance to or
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sidestepped answering it. have you gotten answers to that question? >> i haven't. i have not seen the cable. i have not heard the secretary respond to that, as you point out, she did not have a chance to answer that this morning in the hearing. but, again, i think the important thing for us to do now is to make sure that what happened in the lead up to benghazi does not happen again. and one of the real challenges we have is making sure that we can provide the security that has been requested by state, now that it's clear that changes need to be made, and so we've got a job to do here in congress. we've got to make sure that those funds that have been requested to be transferred from what's already existing in our overseas contingency account, to make sure that those can go to provide the security, to address the personnel changes that are going to be needed, and to beef up the facilities in places where they are at risk.
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>> hillary clinton has had, by all accounts, a stellar tenure as secretary of state, her polling is off the charts. what is your impression about benghazi and whether this incident will be a problem if she does decide down the road to run for president? >> i think what we ask of our leaders in government is that they do the best job that they can, that when there are mistakes made, that they acknowledge the responsibility for those mistakes where they occur, and that they work to address the mistakes that have been made. i think secretary clinton has done that. that's what i would hope everybody would do in this kind of a situation, and sadly, we can't undo this tragedy. i know we would all like to do that, but what we've got to do is to learn from that, to go forward, and to make sure we take every precaution so that it doesn't happen again.
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and that's why congress needs to act, just as the state department needs to act, and the administration needs to act. >> what did you think of your colleague, senator rand paul, saying that if he were president, he would have fired hillary clinton when this happened? >> well, i don't think in the wake of this kind of tragedy, with the security of so many people at risk, that grandstanding is helpful. i think what's important is for all of us to work together. you know, one of the things you talked about, the grand strategy of our foreign policy. one of the things that has made this country great and made our foreign policy strong for such a long time has been the willingness of parties to work together, to put aside our partisan differences when it comes to these international issues and to act together when the security and the interests of the united states are
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threatened. and that's what we need to do now. we need to work together to address the situation that led up to benghazi, make sure it doesn't happen again, and go forward together in a way that the american people want. >> senator jean shaheen, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> from new hampshire. and still ahead, new jersey congressman chris smith previewing this afternoon's house hearing. secretary clinton will be fielding more tough questions at 2:00. next, whom can we rely on to protect american diplomats in an increasingly volatile africa? this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ club scene music ] [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder -- isn't that a conflict? go to e-trade. we've g0t over 8,000 mutual funds
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hillary clinton testified today that she took responsibility, but that congress is still now asking how security requests got turned down or were ignored, including
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a cable from ambassador chris stevens to her on 9/11, the very day of the attack that killed him. today, clinton pointed out it's a different world. >> benghazi did not happen in a vacuum. the arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. instability in mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to expand their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in algeria. >> joining me now, former director of the national counterterrorism center and intelligence and security analyst for nbc news, and nick burns, professor at the harvard kennedy school and former u.s. ambassador to nato, as well as other places. thank you, both, very much. nick, first to you. what did you hear today that would make anything any different in one of these outposts going forward?
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these are countries that cannot provide host government security. we are not budgeting the money for, certainly, not for marines and military security, and, in fact, this outpost in benghazi was basically an intelligence listening post where we didn't want to have a huge garrison. >> i heard a lot of the republican bickering from the campaign, because benghazi fell in the middle of the campaign between president obama and governor romney, and you heard residues of that this morning. i certainly understand that the republicans in the congress have an obligation to ask tough questions, but secretary clinton was forthcoming today, she took responsibility. she said she'd implement every single one of the recommendations of the accountability review board, and i thought she made a very good suggestion, let's work, the administration and congress, more effectively together on two areas. one is more funding for embassy security. the congress has not fully
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funded the obama administration request for embassy security, and, two, more funding for some of the governments in the region that need to be stronger to protect us. she pointed out congress has blocked funds that would have us assist the libyan government so, responsibility of security is the host government's responsibility. we rely on them. and that militia group in benghazi failed us on september 11th and 12th, so we need to reenforce the ability of these governments to protect our embassies and consulates in 275 different locations around the world. >> well, that raises a point, michael lighter, if we should be in 275 locations. we don't want to retreat from the world, but basically according to the review board that admiral mullen and pickering went through, they looked through the videos and say this host government local militia just turned tail and ran
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before the attack, or as the attack, was taking place. >> i think what we saw in libya was a slowness on behalf of the state department to adjust to very, very different circumstances in libya. and during the ghadafi area, you could have had people there and the security forces would have protected the installation. clearly, it was a much more dangerous place than we were set up to deal with. these are the places we have to be. if we don't want to have to dedicate large military forces or special operations and going after all these people, we have have to have a diplomatic presence popping up in north africa and elsewhere. it's going to be hard. these are dangerous posts. in this case we underestimated the risk, but we're going to face these in the future. >> the administration took the initiative to create an african core and position them seven hours away.
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do we need to move military into north africa, or is it too risky to have our troops? >> i don't think it's too risky, but there's advantages to having a large u.s. military on the ground. in some cases, it's increased alienation from the u.s. i think in the case of benghazi, we actually had a pretty good american response to the crisis. now, of course, there was the attack that killed two more cia contractors, but there was a fairly effective evacuation from the embassy. there was a plan that was followed, and people were genuinely secure. these are dangerous places, and, again, i think we overestimated how much the libyan security forces would do for us. we can't do that in the future, but from my experience at the national counterterrorism center, we would see threats against u.s. consulates, embassies, and missions once, twice, several times a week somewhere around the globe, so it's very easy after the fact to say, clearly, this is where the attack would be. but before it actually happens,
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it's much more difficult to defend all of these facilities. >> nick burns, more broadly, what about the fact that libya falls and ghadafi is gone, and that is generally seen by the u.s. and its allies as a good thing, but the bad guys then move on to algeria, they move on to mali, first, then algeria. you saw what happened and the deaths of americans and other contractors and employees just this past week. so, north africa is a new al qaeda haven, or al qaeda elements. >> it is. here, andrea, i think this crisis that we experienced on september 11th and 12th in benghazi, here's where it's evolved, and secretary clinton mentioned this at the hearing this morning, we have a crisis in north africa, the vast expanse thousands of miles across the sahara desert from niger to mali, algeria and morocco, you have radical islamist elements that have
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taken power in northern mali. the french government has gone out to meet that threat with the support of many african countries and the united states. i think as the house meets this afternoon and questions secretary clinton, we really ought to be talking about that issue, because the administration, obviously, made some mistakes before benghazi and the wake of benghazi, and they've admitted that. but we now need to move on to protect our diplomats but also meet this radical threat in north africa. remember, it was a obscure radical terrorist group that attacked our embassies in nairobi in 1998, hundreds of people were killed, and the same group attacked us on 9/11, al qaeda. now an offshoot of that group is at work with other radical elements in north africa. we have to go out and meet that threat. it's not ours alone to meet, the french and the african countries are quite willing to take it on, but they need our help. and i agree with michael, we cannot retreat from the world. we got to have our diplomats
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fully present in dangerous areas like that. our diplomats are willing to meet that threat, but they now need the support of congress to fully fund security for them. >> nick burns, thank you so much, good to see you. and, of course, michael lighter here in washington. we have this breaking news now from the house. the house has passed the extension of the debt limit to may 19th. the vote was 285 to 144 and the measure now moves on to the senate. and next, former first granddaughter susan eisenhower with her message to the nra. time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. kathleen king had a successful bakery business in the hamptons, but a partnership that went sour resulted in her losing it. left with a storefront and a recipe, she now makes more than 2 million cookies a week with over $10 million in sales. for more, watch "your business" on msnbc sunday mornings. what are you doing?
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nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. and, as we told you just a few moments ago, this breaking news, the house has now passed the extension of the u.s. debt limit to may 19th with a vote of 285 to 144. some strings attached. if they don't work out a budget before then, they'll be holding up their own pay. how about that? now, of course, moves on to the senate for final passage.
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and the nra is going on offense against the president's call for gun laws, while refusing to back down from a controversial web ad that focused on the obama daughters and their school. many people feel that ad crossed a line, an important line. one of those is susan eisenhower, who was protected by the secret service when her grandfather was in the white house. great to see you, susan. you and your brother, david, were in the white house as grandchildren, in fact, not very widely known fact, camp david was named after david. >> that's correct. >> by your grandfather. so, tell me about your objection to the web video and why you think that the nra went too far by suggesting that the obama daughters somehow, you know, have security and have benefits that are not available to others. >> well, andrea, let me say very quickly, i've had a 30-year career in international security and arms control and energy security, but this gun control thing is a really tough issue, and it's tough because it's emotional.
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what the nra has done is to make it even more emotional by bringing in ancillary arguments about the elite and how well-protected they are, suggesting everyone else is not. i felt i had to sort of depart from my normal activities and write something about this, because first of all, presidential children and grandchildren who have protection are in a very different category than ordinary kids, regrettably. they are an extension of the president himself and are targets. so, to suggest that the population as a whole is somehow similar to one of the obama children just isn't fair or right. >> you wrote in this "washington post" op-ed, which caught my eye, how lucky is it to grow up with a loss of privacy and freedom along with the psychological effects of a child shadowed by armed body guards.
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having secret service protection is part of the sacrifice presidential families make in the name of public service. those who have had armed protection can suffer life-long feelings of the sense of he or she is always being watched or longing for continued dependency and security. i'm fortunate to have gotten over these issues. you're making the point that this is a privilege to serve, but there are also some burdens that come with living in that bubble. >> oh, i think there are burdens, and the other thing i didn't say, because i had many other points i wanted to make in that piece, is then one day they are gone and you're still a quasi target in a way, because people may or may not hold resentme resentments, but people certainly know who you are, but then you don't have any protection anymore. so it really is a very unique set of circumstances, and it's an inappropriate comparison. what it does is it's designed to create animosity in the population, it's designed to create resentment against the
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president, when the president is, you know, tasked with being, you know, the chief of the executive branch of the government. this is entirely different than people who lead ordinary lives. >> and it also brings attention, you would argue, to the children at the very time when we are trying to avoid, other than at inaugurals and moments like that where they are on the public stage, but there's an unwritten agreement to stay away from the kids and to let them have their soccer matches and their schools and stay as far away as possible and let them grow up as normal children. >> i think this is really important. we talk about how we value freedom, even the nra talks about their freedom, but nobody talks about the people that sacrifice theirs for the public good, and that is certainly the case of any first family or even families of members of congress or others who serve their government. and so i think we really have to put all that aside and talk about the real issues that are at play here.
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>> susan eisenhower with a unique perspective. thank you very much. thanks for sharing. and coming up next, congressman chris smith on what questions house members want answered when they hear from hillary clinton later today. i'm jessica simpson. and this year is all about new beginnings for me. i lost over 50 lbs on weight watchers and did not have to be perfect to do it. being healthy has become a part of who i am which is great timing because i'm having another baby. i feel like i'm on top of the world. introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. because when a weight loss program is built for human nature, you can expect amazing. join for free and expect amazing. because it works.
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because they know i don't trade like everybody. i trade like me. i'm with scottrade. (announcer) scottrade. voted "best investment services company." with only a short break to recover from the grilling that she got from the senate this morning, hillary clinton is going to get another turn this afternoon in front of the house. one of those asking the questions is new jersey republican chris smith, who joins me now. congressman, thank you very much. >> andrea, good to see you again. >> good to see you. what do you want to hear from hillary clinton? >> i watched some of the senate's testimony, read testimony, glad to have her on capitol hill, but there's so many unanswered questions. you know, it's as if we never learned the lessons. back in 1985, admiral bobby inman issued the inman commission report. in 1999, admiral crowe and i chaired the hearings after our embassies got bombed in tanzania
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and nairobi, kenya. 200 people dead, 4,000 wounded and injured. many of the same recommendations that were made by the most recent accountability review board were made back then, so it's a matter of implementation and leadership, which seems to be lacking. and we really still don't know what the secretary knew prior to september 11, 2012. we know what she did afterwards, that's what she talked about today, but there are huge questions about security requests that our ambassador in libya had made to the department. did she know about it? those answers still are forthcoming and they have not come. >> well, one of her points today, i think, in answer to senator mccain or one of the critics is that it's congress that's held back money. let me play a little bit of that. >> sure. >> since march 2011, congressional holds have been placed on programs for many
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months for aid to libya. we've had frequent congressional complaints, why are we doing anything for libya, it's a wealthy country, it has oil, disagreement from some sources that we should never have been part of any u.n. mission in libya. currently, the house has holds on bilateral security assistance, on other kinds of support for antiterrorism assistance. >> i mean, as she put it, doesn't the white house, the administration, and congress have to get their act together as to if we want more security, prove it, budget it. >> obviously, we could always do more, andrea. but i was the author of the secure embassy construction and counterterrorism act of 1999. since 1998, we have tripled from 1,000 to 3,100 diplomatic security agents and personnel. it's a matter of leadership and the proper deployment, so there was a little misdirection there
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on that answer. when it comes to security for an ambassador, christopher stevens and the three other individuals and those who were wounded, that's a matter of prioritizing the resources that you have and ensuring that when the ambassador makes a request, when his team makes a request of the department, those funds and that deployment of personnel are forthcoming. added to that, there's still questions about the military. seven hours after the attack began was when two of the individuals, the americans, died. i could fly from here to london in seven hours or so. we couldn't get military assets there to protect americans who are under siege? so there's questions about what president obama was doing at the time during those long seven hours, and there's questions about why we didn't have military personnel there to protect our people who are in dire straits. >> congressman, the military is prepositioned in studegar, not
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even close. they say because it would be worse for us diplomatically to have a big footprint there. do you reject that? do you think we should have forward basing and do you think we should have marines at these outposts? >> again, we still don't know what went on prior to september 11th in terms of the requests that were made and especially how they were acted upon. three individuals, at least, have been put on administrative leave because of mistakes that were made, but how high up did it go? i'm shocked, frankly, that in an era where we want transparency, that secretary clinton herself was not interviewed by thomas pickering and his accountability review board. you don't just interview mid-level people about what they knew and when they knew it, you have to go higher throughout the entire chain of command. and, again, since there were early indications that this was a hot spot, that the february 17th brigade, which was one of
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those charged with protecting us, our military -- i mean, our diplomatic people, was of very, very questionable allegiance. who vetted them? those kinds of red flags should have triggered either our ambassador not going to benghazi that day, or other actions being taken, especially when you talk about having more people there to provide protection. you know, he had less people in benghazi than he did a year before when he went there. that's unconscionable, so -- pardon me, mistakes were made, in my opinion and the opinion of many others. i watched the secretary, she was very smart in talking about what we need to do, but what was or was not done prior to the initiation of these hostilities, this terrorist attack against americans. >> we're going to have to leave it there and watch your hearing this afternoon. thank you very much, congressman. surprising election results in israel for benjamin netanyahu. ♪
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israeli elections have left prime minister benjamin netanyahu with a stronger majority. the big surprise, though, with a second-place finish led by a israeli celebrity who emphasizes pocketbook issues, not so much the foreign threats or the peace process itself. joining me now, israel's ambassador michael oren. this is not a system familiar to many americans, ambassador, but thanks so much for taking us through it. what's going to happen now as the prime minister tries to create a coalition, and will his policies change towards either the palestinians or the united states as a result of this election? >> good afternoon, andrea. always good to be with you. we just concluded the inauguration of president obama's second term and israelis have now celebrated our democracy by going to the polls and turning out some interesting results, including a decisive victory for prime minister
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benjamin netanyahu, and, yes, an interesting victory for the head of a party, a new party, a centrist party, headed by journalist and writer lapeed. it's not going to be major changes in terms of the peace process, prime minister netanyahu's position calls for direct talks with the palestinians without preconditions, to establish a two-state solution for two peoples, based on security and mutual recognition. that's the position of the obama administration, and i think that's the position of lapeed's party, as well. in terms of the relationship with the united states, we're committed to the closest possible alliance with the united states. that has been the situation for the last four years, and that will continue. you are right that there's a greater emphasis on some of the social issues in our country, which are not so different than the issues in the united states. that includes a livable middle class wage, a housing for young people, economic opportunities, these have been the issues that have really come to the forefront in the last elections
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in israel. >> might it be necessary for the prime minister to back off of the new settlements, for instance, which are such a bone of contention with the administration here, and, of course, with the palestinians? >> i think there's a strong centrist feeling the settlements are not the major issues in the search for peace. settlements can be negotiated in the dreblth tairect talks. he is largely directive of direct negotiations without preconditions and the settlement issue will be resolved with that. netanyahu is speaking in a joint session of congress and said express he he understands that there settlements that lie beyond israel's borders. >> what about iran and the possibility of military action against iran? >> not much change here.
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israelis understand that iran poses the paramount threat to israel in the region. the iranian nuclear program and support for terror. we have the greatest stake in the game and the greatest skin in the game. no country has a greater threat than resolving the threat through diplomatic means. we hope that crippling sanctions and military threat will dissuade them from nuclear weapons. the position of netanyahu and i believe of the vast majority of israelis and the obama as min station. all options should remain on the table and containment is not an option. >> what about chuck hagel and talk about concern of supporters that he is not strongly enough a supporter of israel. he tried to a swage that and met with jewish groups.
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what is your sense as to chuck hagel as defense secretary? >> israel will also respect the senior administration officials nominated by president obama and confirmed by congress. i have not personally met senator hagel, but the deputy foreign minster met frequently with senator hagel who understands the partnership between the united states and israel and the support is in america's interest. i have worked with two sec tears of defense and i agree with what our minster of defense said. the defense relationships between the u.s. and israel are better than ever and i have confidence that relationship will continue to strengthen and grow. >> thank you very much. israel's ambassador to the united states. we'll be right back. the wing and a fractured beak. surgery was successful, but he will be in a cast until it is fully healed,
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possibly several months. so, if the duck isn't able to work, how will he pay for his living expenses? aflac. like his rent and car payments? aflac. what about gas and groceries? aflac. cell phone? aflac, but i doubt he'll be using his phone for quite a while cause like i said, he has a fractured beak. [ male announcer ] send the aflac duck a get-well card at getwellduck.com.
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that does it for this
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edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow, the new hampshire city and kay hagan and richard stengle from the economic summit. i guess you have more hillary clinton. >> indeed we do. round two for the second time today. secretary hillary clinton will testify before a congressional committee on the benghazi attacks the second time and appear before the committee. it leaves to describe clinton as combative as ever. blasted another senator's line of questioning, calling it the biggest fairy tale she had ever seen. the emotional moment when the secretary teared up. we will have all of what happened earlier and the live event going down within the hour. age your money. that's not much you think. except it's 2% every year. does that make a difference? search "cost of financial advisors"
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